A year 8 boy was watching a scene from Tintin in French. The detectives had gone to the trouble of making lifesize cutouts of Tintin and the eminent Professor to trick the bad guys into thinking that they were there. Crafty and, above all, only a cartoon, but this year 8 boy (captivated by the screen - see my 'square eyes' post) thought that it was 'too long' ('long' not with the definition of being opposite of short, but of being equivalent to 'boring'). I presume from this observation that he would not have gone to such trouble himself. This makes me think about countless other time when a student would say to me 'but that's too long miss' or 'there's too much to write'. Have we entered a Catherine Tate-like culture of 'can't be bovvered'? We could work out the meanings of new words by deduction, or we could just ask the teacher. We could work out a sum for the sake of practising our mental arithmetic, or we could just use a calculator. We could do our French homework using our class books and our brains, or we could just use an online translator. Students nowadays seem to be opting for the 'short' option, the quickest route to their goal, and not enjoying the journey there, not reaping the benefits of what hard work and toil give you. Is this going to have repercussions for the future, will areas of our brains become redundant because technology will do all the hard work? For the few who maintain a working brain and do not depend on Satnav, long may you continue and reproduce!